KAABOO has announced the lineup for their newest destination event in the Cayman Islands. Overlooking the Caribbean Sea, the inaugural event is set on the shores of the world-famous Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman. KAABOO Cayman will take place amidst a tropical climate where guests will enjoy a backdrop of crystal blue water and white sand beaches for an upscale, island getaway from February 15 – 16, 2019.For their inaugural lineup, KAABOO Cayman will welcome internationally renowned EDM-pop duo The Chainsmokers and British new wave idols Duran Duran as headliners. Also on the lineup are DJ ZEDD, Jason Derulo, Bryan Adams, Counting Crows, Flo Rida, Blondie, +Live+, Maren Morris, Sean Paul, Shaggy, Salt-N-Pepa ft DJ Spinderella, Blues Traveler, Los Lobos, and many more. Comic canons Wanda Sykes, David Spade, Jenny Slate, Darrell Hammond and more will headline KAABOO’s HUMOR ME stage.For information on the lineup, location, and ticketing, head here to the festival website.
Open enrollment, the annual period when Harvard employees can make changes to their benefit plans, begins Oct. 27. This year, faculty and staff will find a few important changes to their health care offerings, including a new vision care plan, free preventive health services, and increases in emergency room and office visit co-payments.Employees have until Nov. 9 to make and review changes to their medical and dental coverage or open a flexible spending account, in which money can be set aside on a pretax basis to cover certain health or dependent-care costs. (Visit HARVie for more information or to make changes, which will be effective Jan. 1, 2012.)But — as Harvard Human Resources (HHR) will be emphasizing over the next few weeks — it’s important that employees review their benefits even if they don’t plan on making a switch, because some changes to benefits will soon go into effect.For starters, the University will offer a vision care plan for the first time. The Davis Vision plan — $5.43 a month for individuals and $12.49 a month for families — will cover vision exams, glasses, and contact lenses with co-payments.Most Harvard employees* will also face a few increases in costs to their health care. Co-payments for visits to the doctor will now be $20, a $5 increase. Emergency room co-payments will rise from $40 to $75, although they’ll still be waived if the patient is admitted.Those in Harvard’s Point of Service plans or Preferred Provider Organization plan — an option for out-of-state employees only — will see an increase in their out-of-network deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. Those changes, however, will only affect the relatively small number of employees who opt for coverage outside Harvard’s network of providers.“Three-quarters of our employees are enrolled in our HMO plans, in part because the HMO plans are so comprehensive and include so many top providers,” said Rita Moore, HHR’s director of benefits and human resources systems. “A lot of people don’t feel the need to go out of network.”By increasing co-pays and deductibles, Harvard has kept medical plan costs lower across the board. Overall, the increases are smaller than the national average. A recently released study by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust shows that health care premiums have risen 8 percent for individuals and 9 percent for families in 2011. By contrast, Harvard plan rates for active employees are increasing by 3 to 5 percent, and dental plan rates are decreasing by more than 4 percent.Still, the University acknowledges that the costs of health care can be difficult to manage for low-income families.“If we’ve got a lower-wage earner who has substantial out-of-pocket co-pays, they may be able to be reimbursed,” Moore said, referring to Harvard’s Medical Co-payment Reimbursement Program.In another move to offset employees’ out-of-pocket costs, preventive care will now be free to members of Harvard’s plans for active employees, a result of last year’s federal health care reform. The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act mandates that fully insured plans offer annual exams, OB/GYN and maternity visits, routine pediatric visits, and select other services without co-pay.As health care costs rise rapidly around the country, Harvard has taken several administrative steps in recent years to help slow the growth of ballooning health expenditures. The University has consolidated the number of plans it offers to leverage its buying power to keep costs low, and has moved to a pharmacy benefit manager to help manage costs.The University spends more than $420 million a year on benefits, and health care is roughly 40 percent of those costs, according to Marilyn Hausammann, vice president for HHR.Benefits are a highly valued asset to Harvard employees, Moore said, and the University is mindful of keeping its benefits competitive relative to both other higher education institutions and local employers.“We’re very careful in trying to ensure our plans are a good value to employees and competitive in the marketplace,” Moore said. “At the same time, we’re trying to balance the financial pressures on the institution with the interests of our employees. We’re managing costs not just for this year but for future years.”The distribution of health premium costs will remain the same. Harvard currently pays between 75 and 85 percent of employees’ premium costs for active medical plans and 50 to 100 percent of retiree coverage.*Certain benefits changes for 2012 apply to faculty, non-union staff members, and members of SEIU, Local 26, ATC, and HUSPMGU. Because the University is still negotiating with HUCTW and HUPA over these changes, members of these unions should refer to HARVie for information about their benefits.
Related Shows The afterlife is heading off-Broadway. Hereafter Musical, a new show by Frankie Keane and CBS Vice President of Late Night Vinnie Favale, will play an open-ended run at the Snapple Theater Center. Keane will also join the cast. The tuner, directed by Terry Berliner, will begin performances on September 13. Opening night is set for October 25. Hereafter Musical follows three women who have come together at the home of world renowned psychic Jason Richards, desperate to make contact with their loved ones who have passed. Unbeknownst to them, the spirits materialize during the reading, and they, like the living, also have a great deal of difficulty moving on. View Comments In addition to Keane, the cast will include Deborah Tranelli, Pierce Cravens, Jill Shackner, Paul Blankenship, Eileen Faxas, Carolyn Mignini, Courtney Capek, Tanisha Gary, Kissy Simmons, Margaret Kelly and Alan Kalter. The production will feature sound design by Scott Stauffer and costumes by Theresa Snider-Stein. Hereafter Musical
View Comments Viola Davis(Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) This Oscar win has filled up all them empty spaces in our hearts! Viola Davis, who took home the 2010 Tony Award for her performance in August Wilson’s Fences, received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for reprising the role on screen. This marks Davis’ first Oscar win.Davis also received a Tony Award for her performance in King Hedley II. She appeared on Broadway in Seven Guitars. Davis received Oscar nominations for The Help and Doubt. Her various on screen credits include How to Get Away with Murder, Suicide Squad, Prisoners and many more.”Here’s to August Wilson, who exhumed and exhalted the ordinary people,” Davis said in her acceptance speech.Denzel Washington, who also received a Tony Award for his Broadway performance, received an Oscar nomination for reprising his role in the film alongside Davis. Washington was also at the helm of the screen adaptation, which is nominated for Best Picture.Congrats to Viola Davis for taking the podium at both the Tony Awards and the Oscars for the same role.
Samobor keeps pace with technological trends and from today Samobor can get to know virtually, ie through a virtual walk.Namely, the virtual walk through old Samobor and the still undiscovered Žumberak is the latest in a series of this year’s innovative projects of the Tourist Board of the town of Samobor.A 360-degree virtual walk through Samobor and Žumberak is a modern and innovative visual display of the city and its surroundings and enables user interaction with the service, helping them to orient themselves through the natural, historical and cultural sights of Samobor. In this way, tourists and guests are offered a new and different experience of sightseeing the city and presenting its attractions, and they are provided with a realistic and digital approach through the possibility of interaction and experience on a whole new level. “Virtual walk is a step forward in the promotion of our city and provides significant opportunities in attracting new guests, but also in returning the old who can now walk from their living room to our most interesting locations and revive beautiful memories that make it worthwhile to return here.“They point out from the Samobor Tourist BoardThe virtual walk is adapted for use on all devices connected to the Internet, without the need to install additional applications or programs. Try a virtual walk through Samobor here<br />
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European aviation giant Airbus Wednesday reported a first quarter net loss of 481 million euros under the impact of the coronavirus crisis.The loss compared to a profit of 40 million euros ($43 million) in the same period last year.Revenues fell 15.2 percent to 10.6 billion euros, reflecting a “market environment strongly impacted” by the pandemic, “particularly in commercial aircraft.” Reuters earlier reported that the European planemaker had given its starkest assessment yet of damage from the coronavirus crisis, telling the company’s 135,000 employees to brace for potentially deeper job cuts and warning its survival is at stake without immediate action.In a letter to staff late last week, Chief Executive Guillaume Faury said Airbus was “bleeding cash at an unprecedented speed” and that a recent drop of a third or more in production rates did not reflect the worst-case scenario and would be kept under review.Topics :
As London has the largest market for derivatives, pension funds’ transactions with investment banks are usually subject to British legislation.Earlier this year, the Commission proposed that pension funds were made exempt from central clearing regulations, brought in under EMIR, until 2020. These require all derivatives trades to be conducted through a central clearing house.Verheijen said: “If the current exemption from mandatory central clearing for pension funds until August 2018 were not to be extended, central clearing must take place in London, where clearing house LCH has a 95% market share for schemes that have already started central clearing.“In case of a hard Brexit, the European Commission wants these contracts [to be] subject to European legislation, as it doesn’t want to be dependent on British legislation if a British clearing house goes bust.”In this case, contracts with LCH would have to be transferred to central clearing parties based on the European mainland. A hard Brexit could cost Dutch pension funds hundreds of millions of euros to rearrange derivatives transactions currently cleared through London, consultancy Cardano has suggested.Uncertainty about the outcome of the Brexit negotiations has triggered questions about the legal status of derivatives contracts after the deadline of March 2019.“At the moment, pension funds are uncertain about where and when they must clear their contracts,” said Max Verheijen, head of financial markets at Cardano. “Pension funds must prepare for every scenario by concluding flexible clearing contracts.”Any transfer of derivatives contracts between trading venues would be expensive, he said. David Davis and Michel Barnier at a Brexit press conference in October 2017Source: EUThijs Aaten, managing director of the treasury centre of the €456bn asset manager APG, also expressed concerns about unexpected consequences of a hard Brexit for strongly regulated and complex derivatives transactions.“Existing contracts must be honoured, but what if an existing transaction leads to a new one, for example through calling an option?” he said. “Would this be a new transaction and would it be subject to existing or new regulation?”In his opinion, another problem would be mandatory ‘compression’ under EMIR legislation, which makes it compulsory to reduce a large number of transactions with the same bank to a smaller number of deals.Aaten also warned of a lack of legal clarity about whether a compression would be a new or an existing trade, and to what legislation it would be subject.Verheijen and Aaten both observed that British investment banks were preparing for both a ‘soft’ and a ‘hard’ Brexit and were setting up branches elsewhere in the EU.Aaten said he knew banks that had rented office space in Amsterdam with the option of sub-letting if the need to move did not arise. However he declined to provide details.“I keep a finger on the pulse and want to know whether I can continue a relationship with a British investment bank after March 2019,” he said.In Verheijen’s opinion, pension funds should make sure they can conduct central clearing of derivatives both in London and on the European mainland, as concluding a contract usually takes between six and nine months.“As we don’t know how the world looks after August 2018 and March 2019, we are already arranging flexible contracts with clearing members,” he said.Meanwhile, The Bank of England said that around £26trn (€29trn) of outstanding uncleared derivatives contracts could be affected by a withdrawal of permission to conduct cross-border business after Brexit, according to a record of meetings of its financial policy committee that was published today.The largest risks to the continuity of outstanding cross-border financial services contracts related to over-the-counter derivatives contracts and insurance contracts, the Bank noted. The committee had been informed by a representative of the UK’s Treasury department that it was considering all options for mitigating these risks. Overall, the committee considered Brexit posed material risks to the provision of financial services to customers in both the UK and the EU.“It would difficult, ahead of March 2019, for financial companies on their own to mitigate fully the risks of disruption to financial services,” the meeting record said. “Timely agreement on an implementation period would reduce risks to financial stability.”
“This is a significant step to de-risk the scheme and our aim is to continue to do so in the future with good partners like Rothesay Life and Aon,” he added.Aon was an adviser to the scheme alongside Pinsent Masons.John Baines, partner at Aon, said the transaction was “a great example of how patience can pay dividends when setting a long-term strategy”. The Cadbury Mondelēz Pension Fund has completed a £520m (€560m) buy-in with Rothesay Life, its second tranche of de-risking in 10 years.The deal means the snack foods company scheme has insured around one-fifth of its £4.6bn of total liabilities. Its first buy-in was in 2009, for £500m.The transaction with Rothesay covers the liabilities associated with around 1,900 pensioner members. The bulk annuity is to be held as an asset of the scheme.Greg Chick, chairman of the trustees of the pension fund, referred to the deal as “the next step in a long-term de-risking strategy”. The pension de-risking market has been growing strongly in the past year on the back of a combination of factors, including a slowdown in life expectancy increases and strong capacity in the global reinsurance market.According to consultancy LCP, a record £34bn worth of transactions were struck in the 12 months to the end of June this year, with a record also being reached for the first half of the year.Aon said over £35bn of UK bulk annuities were expected to be concluded by the end of the year, “easily a record level”.On Tuesday HSBC’s UK pension fund announced it had completed a £7bn longevity swap, the second largest such arrangement for a UK scheme.Moody’s recently said growth in the UK bulk annuity market would increase insurers’ reliance on longevity reinsurance and illiquid assets, “with mixed credit implications”.The credit rating agency also noted that demand for bulk annuities could partially subside in the event of a no-deal Brexit, if it triggered a further drop in bond yields.
By DNV GLWith oil and gas industry mergers and acquisitions expected to pick up this year, buyers and sellers need to focus on more than financials during due diligence. Other key considerations include environmental and safety impacts of projects or assets.Companies in the oil and gas sector are expecting increased merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in 2017 as a strategy to reorganize for the future, according to DNV GL’s seventh annual benchmark study capturing industry leaders’ priorities, concerns and confidence for the year ahead.A third of respondents surveyed expect their organizations to increase M&A activity in 2017, compared with an already significant 23% in 2016. Overall, 78% expect increased industry consolidation in the year ahead.Global professional services firm EY reports that it is starting to see an upwards shift in oil and gas deals as companies realize there may be a cost to inaction over potential or pending transactions.1 Deal drivers in the upstream sector, for example, include new transactions and refinancing to resolve distressed situations; greater availability of quality assets for acquisitions as companies accelerate portfolio optimization; the rise of creative deal structures, such as joint ventures, as parties seek to share project and capital risk; and a greater influence and presence of private equity.“Because there is such a pressure on margins, there will be continual opportunities for companies with strong balance sheets to look for opportunities,” says Thore E Kristiansen, chief operating officer, exploration and production, and executive director for Portuguese integrated energy company Galp Energia, in an interview for DNV GL’s research. “I see this trend continuing in 2017 – possibly with greater urgency because buyer and seller expectations [on price] are getting closer.”Some opportunities will stem from the five big international oil companies’ plans to sell some USD20-23 billion (bn) in assets this year. In January 2017, Shell sold up to USD4.7bn worth of assets in the UK and Thailand, for example.So far though, there has not been a wave of mega-deals brought on by lower oil prices. “I think this is down to increasing questioning of the big oil model, and because of the valuations in the marketplace, with few synergies working out at these levels,” says Edward Morse, Citigroup’s global head of commodities research for DNV GL’s study. “There are similar issues for medium-sized companies in terms of the struggle to agree valuations.”As the big oil model comes under scrutiny, cost pressures are driving more industry collaboration. “Major oil and gas companies are becoming more dependent on smaller, more agile partners to develop certain discoveries, with the majors becoming predominately financiers towards some of these ventures, as opposed to implementing them,” says DNV GL’s Graeme Pirie, vice president, DNV GL – Oil & Gas.Diversification out of upstream oil and gasCost pressures aside, geopolitical factors are driving some companies to plan strategic moves towards decarbonization. Global energy supplier ENGIE, for example, is pursuing a transformation plan aimed at redesigning and simplifying its portfolio of activities towards a low carbon footprint and less exposure to commodity prices. As part of this plan, it has said that it could eventually sell its exploration and production (E&P) assets depending on the price.Moræus Hanssen, CEO, ENGIE E&PMaria Moræus Hanssen, CEO, ENGIE E&P, explains that the fundamental shift in ENGIE’s strategy is driven by decarbonization, decentralization and digitalization: “These three words describe the mega-trends that we see, and they are what we are aiming to reposition ourselves towards.”She expects to see more oil and gas companies hiving off E&P businesses and anticipates private equity becoming a main buyer of such assets: “E&P used to be big companies, big corporates. Now I think E&P is going to be more and more about companies owned by private equity firms, who have very different perspectives and very different behaviour: a lot of these buy and turn around things.”Non-financial due diligence for M&AAs increased M&A activity and expectations for new portfolio ownership models come into play, companies across the sector are taking on greater obligation to account for their environmental and safety performance in annual reports and other documents required by regulators and law.This trend is being given added impetus by the global decarbonization agenda. Indeed, only three per cent of senior oil and gas professionals say that their companies will be scaling down sustainability initiatives in 2017.The industry’s appetite for continued sustainable practice will appeal to the investment community, which is seeking reassurance over environmental risks in deals. A cross-industry report published by PwC reveals that up to 40% of private equity investors have seen poor environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance as a reason to demand a material discount on a purchase price, or to walk away from a deal.3“The potential or actual environmental liabilities associated with target deals across asset lifecycles can be substantial,” advises Elisabeth Tørstad, CEO, DNV GL – Oil & Gas. “Our due diligence teams provide regulatory compliance and management system suitability, safety, technical, commercial, and environmental due diligence for investing in or divesting oil and gas assets. They see that identifying and quantifying these risks allows purchasers and sellers to negotiate around terms and conditions that can make or break a deal.”As the industry reorganizes, the trend toward smaller players owning and operating assets, and the anticipated greater involvement by private equity, creates greater need for technical expertise to support due diligence.The PwC study suggests that private equity firms may be no less keen than current oil and gas asset owners to avoid unacceptable additional costs, fines or reputational damage. It finds ESG factors high up the agenda for private equity houses; more than two-thirds (70%) have made public commitments to invest responsibly across their portfolios. Of those surveyed, 44% plan to assess the impact on their portfolios of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), while 36% see reputation benefits in supporting these goals.Meeting sustainability targets and requirementsDNV GL assists potential buyers and sellers of oil and gas sector assets to cost-effectively and safely meet business, regulatory and reputational objectives in the sustainability area. It can help the industry to align with the UN SDGs and with national regulations and initiatives implementing the COP21 Paris Agreement on limiting global warming.To help minimize any negative aspects of oil and gas developments while maximizing positive impacts such as affordable access to energy supplies, DNV GL has developed a framework for benchmarking financial and reputational consequences of exploiting resources worldwide.The framework measures total impact as the sum of economic, environmental and social impacts. It displays the results using a red-amber-green traffic light system. It is kept updated, and the results can be searched and visualized through the company’s online Resource Map.“Our approaches allow better-informed decisions to be made on how and where to improve social and environmental performance,” Tørstad says. “Greater transparency on safety and environmental risk management processes and sustainability reporting will give the sector much-needed credibility and speed up sustainability improvements for competitive advantage.”This article was first published in PERSPECTIVES (March 2017)The Industry Contribution is a new section in which the oil and gas industry companies share their project endeavors or analyses. This article was produced by Bosch Rexroth and does not necessarily reflect the view of OffshoreEnergyToday.com. No member of the editorial team took part in creation of this article. Please contact us at [email protected] for inquiries.